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27 February, 2005

We know where you blog

As Neil spotted, GeoURL is back, after an absence of several months.  For those who hadn't encountered that version (designed and operated by the creator of del.icio.us), GeoURL was the first major search engine to index websites (primarily blogs) geographically, according to lat/longitude coordinates stated in the headers of member sites.

It's good to see GeoURL reactivated, but the problem is that the inherited database is almost as bad as it ever was. Having checked my own area, I see that mine and that of an automated weather station are the only live sites – the rest are long-abandoned blogs. I think this'd be a good opportunity for a clear out, maybe even a fresh start with a blank database.

I wonder if it'd be possible to associate a 'last updated' date with each member site. That would be an interesting feature for users, but could also eliminate dead sites if GeoURL was configured to only display those updated (and which have 'pinged' GeoURL) within the most recent, say, three months i.e. exhibiting a bare minimum of activity.

Beyond the slightly trivial novelty of discovering blogs near one's own, it's a little difficult to find practical uses for GeoURL (not that any are necessary!), but I've just thought of one: if something noteworthy happens in, say, the Bemowo district of Warszawa, Poland, knowing the lat/longitude (easily available on the web), one could find local sites potentially giving eyewitness accounts.

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